Thursday, December 16, 2004

SMC Wireless Access Points

Yesterday and today I spent some time testing out a pair of SMC 2586W-G wireless access points. These are WAPs, not wireless routers. The main reason we're looking at them is for use with our commercial MDU product as a way to extend Ethernet coverage.

The SMCs include bridge functionality. I.e., you can create a wireless link between a pair of them in order to extend the size of a WLAN. My setup wass follows:

(Router) - (Patch cord) - (WAP) - (~75' through a couple walls) - (WAP) ---- (Laptop)

I first established the range of a single WAP then placed the second unit near the periphery of it's coverage. I then connected my laptop wirelessly to the LAN created, hopping on using the second unit. To test how robust the link would be I slammed it with traffic: SMTP; IMAP, HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP. It handled the load pretty well but I found that the units overheat easily if placed near warm equipment. When they overheat, they lock up.

If deployed with their environmental limitations kept in mind, they seem like pretty decent little boxen.

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